Why “just Be Yourself” Is Not Always the Best Advice

“Being yourself” and truly living is one of the goals we advocate, but we can rarely explain why . We think it’s good to always be consistent about who you are, but there are times when it’s more important to pay attention to those around you.

As psychology professor Adam Grant explains, there is one key factor that determines how well or how bad someone is “just who they are.” This is called self-control. The more you control yourself, the more likely you are to change your behavior based on the people around you:

If you are in good control of yourself, you constantly scan your environment for social cues and adjust accordingly. You hate social awkwardness and desperately want to not offend anyone … But if you are not in control of yourself, you are more focused on your inner state, regardless of your circumstances.

In some cases, this is great! If you are in a romantic relationship, you should probably be aware of your inner state and not constantly change who you are to match what someone might want at that moment. While it sounds paradoxical, paying attention to your needs, personality traits, and desires is extremely helpful in finding a partner with whom you communicate.

However, high self-control is superior to others. For example, they are more likely to takeleadership positions because they pay more attention to the people around them. They quickly notice that someone has a need and change their actions in response to that need. While some might call it “fake” or boss kisses, it’s actually just noting the needs of others and prioritizing. It can be a valuable career skill.

Why Fake It Until You Make It So Effective According to Science | Inc.


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